TWIGS - Overview
Baltimore School for the Arts is proud to serve as an arts resource for the greater Baltimore community by offering TWIGS, an extensive after-school and Saturday arts instruction program; free matinees and gallery tours for city schools; and performances for families and children throughout the year. Through these programs and other community outreach initiatives, BSA reaches thousands of children and their families each year with opportunities in the arts.
The TWIGS program offers free classes in music, dance, visual arts, theatre and stage production to students in the second through eighth grades who reside in the City of Baltimore and who qualify by audition. Auditions are held in the spring for the following school year. Each year, the program serves about 700 students from 140 Baltimore City elementary and middle schools. For a brochure about TWIGS and audition information, click here.
In each area of concentration, classes were carefully developed by both experienced artists and specialists in early childhood education and are taught by professional artist/teachers selected for their skill in working with beginning level students. Click here for more information on classes.
All TWIGS classes are held after school and on Saturdays in the studios and classrooms of the BSA. For location and parking, click here.
Mission & History
TWIGS was established in 1982 with a two-fold mission: to make arts accessible to under-served city students and to identify and train students with potential to audition successfully for the high school and enter the pipeline to college admission and careers in the arts. Students who wish to pursue careers in the arts have a critical advantage if they begin their training at an early age. While participation in the TWIGS program is not a guarantee for high school admission, each year between 30-35% of the incoming BSA ninth graders have been trained through TWIGS. The continued growth, success and permanence of TWIGS are major priorities at Baltimore School for the Arts.
Matinee Performances for City Schools
BSA offers free matinee performances to elementary and middle school groups from city public schools. For many of the children that visit BSA, this will be their first experience at a live performance and one that can truly be inspiring. Artsource, a pre- and post-performance teachers’ resource guide, is sent to teachers in advance of each performance with information to prepare the students for the experience and to provide follow up discussion and activities.
First Look is a visual arts program for third, fourth, and fifth grade city students. It is a “first look” at how to look at art as well as a “first look” at the opportunities at BSA. Small school groups are invited for a gallery visit and talk as well as observation of visual arts classes.
Final Dress In the Final Dress program, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders get an inside view of the rehearsal process of a musical theatre production. Students participating in this program have an opportunity to observe BSA juniors rehearse in a behind-the-scenes format and take a tour of the school's theatre studio and performing spaces.